How many times in the last few weeks have you thought, “I wonder if their office is open?” or “I know they’re considered an essential service and are open, but have their hours changed or has my appointment been canceled?” Well, many of your clients have those same questions and need an easy way to find an answer.
Your clients may be quarantined, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stay connected and continue providing excellent service. Implementing Live Chat software on your law firm website is an excellent way to communicate in real time with both clients and prospects.
There are many different companies that provide Live Chat and it can work several different ways. Some services are set up so that prospects are connected directly to law firm staff who make themselves available during specific times of the day to answer questions.
Most services make use of specially trained chat operators. These operators are provided with scripts that enable them to handle general questions about the services offered, hours of operation, etc. The scripts also help them elicit important information from the prospect, including their location, contact information and the nature of their inquiry. If the prospect asks specific questions that pertain to the law, the operator is instructed to respond, “I recommend you speak with a member of our legal team who can better address your specific questions” and will then either call your law firm to directly connect you with the lead or send you an email with the contact information and chat summary so that you can make contact at a later date.
With prices starting around $15/month, Live Chat can be very cost effective. Prices can go as high as $200/month or more, depending on the features you’re interested in. Many companies structure their pricing on a per lead basis, meaning you only pay for leads that meet specific criteria. That criteria is often that they’re in your local geographical area and/or that they leave their name and either phone number or email address.
Adding a Live Chat feature to your law firm website is incredibly easy. Your vendor will provide a few lines of code that you or your webmaster can easily add to the backend of your website. Most services allow you to customize the appearance of the Live Chat widget, as well as where and how it appears on your site.
Live chat can be a powerful online marketing tool, but only if it’s executed correctly. Here are some important tips to ensure you make the most out of Live Chat:
Carefully craft your script – The best scripts are the ones that don’t sound like scripts at all. Your chat operators shouldn’t sound like robots, but like members of your team who are sincerely interested in helping your website visitors.
Your Live Chat operators should be given plenty of information about your law firm and your website. Provide cheat sheets and FAQs to improve their performance and enable them to quickly answer questions. Make sure your operator is armed with any information specific to how your law firm is handling business in light of the coronavirus. If you’re still meeting clients in the office, operators should be ready to share any measures you’re taking to safeguard visitors.
Review chat summaries – Most services will automatically email you a copy of each chat. Reviewing them allows you to assess the quality of the operators who are engaging with your prospects. You may find that you want to fine-tune your script after reviewing the interaction.
Make use of tracking & live analytics – Using these tools will allow you to see what search terms your visitors used to find your website, where the visitors came from, and which page of your website they were on when they first decided to engage with your operator – all very useful information.
There are many Live Chat service providers out there and most of them offer a free trial period. Given the current disruption to “normal” life that we’re all experiencing, why not try a new way to stay connected to your clients?
Director, Web and Online Marketing Services
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (858) 453-2128
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